Yellen Says U.S. Economy Well on the Way to Post-Covid Recovery

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. is “well on the way” to a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and urged lawmakers to turn to addressing long-run problems ailing the economy.

Yellen said in testimony she’s scheduled to deliver before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday that she came into her job in January hoping to help Americans “make it to the other side of the crisis.”

“Thanks to this Congress -- and its passage of the American Rescue Plan -- I believe we are well on our way towards that goal,” she said, referring to the $1.9 trillion pandemic-relief bill enacted in March.

Still, the country faces challenges in wage inequality, declining labor force participation, racial gaps and climate change, she said. Facing those issues requires substantial public investment, she said, urging lawmakers to back President Joe Biden’s proposals for a multi-year $4 trillion spending plan on child care, infrastructure and green investments.

The hearing comes amid an effort by a bipartisan group of senators to hash out a compromise infrastructure plan that would deliver on a portion of Biden’s proposals. Democratic lawmakers in the meantime are also preparing for a fast-track bill that would forgo the need for Republican support by wrapping in spending and revenue proposals that cannot win cross-party backing.

The Biden administration has proposed a series of tax increases on companies and wealthy Americans to pay for the proposals. Republicans have rejected raising levies, however.

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